National Apprenticeship Week: An interview with Matt Hutton
It's National Apprenticeship Week and we caught up with Matt Hutton, a Year 3 apprentice on placement at Autodesk.
What’s the trend amongst your friends/peers for post-16 education choices – do you think apprenticeships are becoming more popular?
The majority of peers carried on with their education and went on to do either college courses or A-level studies at the school. After A-levels most of the cohort then enrolled onto university courses. Those that didn’t either searched for employment or enrolled onto apprenticeship schemes.
Did you explore any other post-16 training options?
Yes, I enrolled onto A-level courses and studied Resistant Materials, Public Service, Business, and Media. After A-levels I then wanted to pursue a career path that would put me in a more practical work role.
Why was an apprenticeship the right route for you?
The apprenticeship was the right route for me as it enabled me to use my manual skills in a learning environment which I could then apply in a working environment. It also enabled me to develop my intellectual abilities with related topics at NVQ Level 3 such as; Mechanical Principles, Electrical Principles, CAD/CAM, Maths.
The apprenticeship scheme has also enabled me to enrol onto a HNC course, further developing my intellectual abilities as an engineering apprentice.
What do you enjoy most about your studies?
I enjoy being able to apply the theory that I have learnt to everyday workplace activities such as; feed and speed calculations, machining techniques and strategies, CAD/CAM programming etc. I have also made very good acquaintances with other apprentices and colleagues from my own place of employment which adds to the enjoyment of the experience.
What have you found to be the biggest challenge in your course so far?
One of the biggest challenges has been moving from the apprentice training centre into workplace employment. I was very nervous and apprehensive about this as it would be a whole new work environment with new roles and responsibilities that I was not used to.
However, I was very fortunate in the matter as my training and experience gained from using the machines at MTC aided me and within no time at all I was trusted enough to be machining parts for customer projects independently.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give to someone who’s considering an apprenticeship?
My advice to someone considering an apprenticeship would be, if you feel that you have a particular interest in what you are considering taking an apprenticeship in, then do so with full commitment.
An apprenticeship has been the most rewarding experience to me in many forms; It has raised my confidence, given me intellectual and practical skills in a broad range of engineering applications, allowed me to make good friendships with both apprentices and colleagues, given me the opportunity to progress with further education which is all funded as well, allowed me to excel in what I find most interesting and allowed me to find a career that I thoroughly enjoy.
It should not be a decision based on the financial benefits, but a gateway that will open doors to successful prospects and allow you to find a career that you will thoroughly enjoy. The benefit of an apprenticeship is that you will gain the practical skills required for employment rather than just theoretical knowledge; this enhances your employability and opens you up to a broader range of jobs.
If you are ready for the hard work and commitment than an apprenticeship is the route for you.
What are your plans after your apprenticeship?
My plans once my apprenticeship has been completed is to continue to progress my skills within my current role and broaden my uses for the company. To develop my CNC machine operating skills to enable me to operate multiple machines and to potentially look at gaining more responsibility with regard to supervisory responsibilities.
Matt Hutton is a Year 3 apprentice on placement at Autodesk, organised through the Manufacturing Technology Centre.
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